Governor Announces Two Tappan Zee Bridge Meetings
Submitted by Tanya Saxena on Thu, 2012-07-19 10:10.
On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a series of community meetings to be held in Westchester and Rockland counties over the next few weeks concerning progress on the new Tappan Zee Bridge project.
These meetings are intended to brief community members on how the construction of the new $5 billion bridge will affect them and to give residents a chance to ask questions about the project.
"After over a decade of delays, we are moving to build a new, better bridge that will be a boost to Hudson Valley residents and to the area's economy," Cuomo said. "As we continue this process, it is essential that members of my administration go town by town and village by village to explain the details of the project and make sure all questions and concerns are addressed-and that's exactly what we are going to do."
The first two meetings, held next week in conjunction with the Business Council of Westchester and Rockland Business Association, will be partly focused on explaining the project's impact on local businesses.
The governor's announcement comes one week after Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef said he now supports building a new bridge, even without firm assurances that mass transit will be added later. Vanderhoef told the Journal News that Cuomo's "message is he doesn’t want to have to spend another $5.2 billion on a BRT (bus rapid transit), and you know what? I agree. You’re not going to do it now. But my message back is we need to think long term.”
Vanderhoef's support is critical because he holds a vote on the regional transportation planning council that would need to vote in support of the project. The next council meeting is in September.Meanwhile, several big milestones for the project are approaching just as these meetings are taking place. Proposals for the bridge's design are due next week, and statements on funding for the bridge and the project's environmental impact are expected soon.
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